A day late but better late than never! Here are the recipes I promised. The recipe for the Guinness cake lists most ingredients by weight, although a bit more tedious as not all of you might have a kitchen scale at home, it does prove to be a more exact way of measuring out baking ingredients. Kitchen scales are pretty inexpensive, I use a Salter one that works just fine and I think I paid less than $15 for it. If you’d like a version of this recipe that uses measuring cups and spoons, let me know!
CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CAKE/CUPCAKES
for the cake…
250g unsalted butter
140ml sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
for the icing… (see my version below)
300g cream cheese, softened
150g icing sugar, sifted
125ml heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F, and grease and line a 9 inch springform tin.
2. Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, and add the butter (in slices or spoonfuls). Heat until the butter is melted, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then pour into the saucepan. Finally, beat in the flour and baking soda.
3. Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (I usually bake it on a non-convection setting for 50-55 minutes). Leave to completely cool in the tin – it is quite a damp cake.
4. For the icing, beat the icing sugar and cream cheese together. Add the cream, and beat again until it’s a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake until it resembles the frothy top of a pint of Guinness.
**I make a slightly simpler, more convenient version of the cream cheese icing: first I beat one 250g package of softened light Philadelphia cream cheese (I have found that using the light variety results in an icing that is a bit more tangy than if you use regular cream cheese; this contrast nicely with the cake! ) for a minute or so, then I add ~100-125g of icing sugar (depending in how sweet you like it) and then a few splashes of cream to achieve the consistency i want, which is thin enought to spread but thick enough to form peaks on the cake.
**The rest of the Guinness left in the bottle or can is for the cook…those are the rules…I don’t make them, I just follow them 🙂
for the cupcakes… Follow recipe and oven temperature setting as above. Line muffin tin with paper liners , fill the cups almost all the way up and bake for 20 minutes. This makes about 18 cupcakes.
**I found that greasing the muffin tin along the edges of the cups with butter (where batter will come in contact with the tin as it bakes) ensures the cupcakes don’t stick and are easier to take out.
VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk
1. With the paddle attachment of a standing mixer or with a hand-held electric mixer beat the butter for a minute or so on medium speed. Change to a low speed and add 3 cups sifted icing sugar (the low speed is essential if you don’t want a cloud of white dust to cover you and your immediate surroundings). Beat for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and salt plus 2 tablespoons of milk. Use the remaining icing sugar and milk to adjust the consistency of your frosting – add more milk for a softer frosting, more icing sugar if you want a stiffer frosting.
**It is important to have softened butter to make this icing. I suggest to soften the butter at room temperature overnight rather than blitizing it in the microwave – this does take a bit of pre-planning but it’s definitely worth it (melted butter does not make good frosting!).
**Take the time to sift your icing sugar!! That is, if you want smooth, lump-free results.
**The recipe I’ve offered lets you adjust the consistency depending on what you’re using the icing for. To frost a cake I prefer a thinner version and a stiffer batch to pipe out designs on a cake or cupcakes (for the Chocolate Guinness cupcakes I used all of the icing sugar and about 2 tablespoons of the milk). This recipe is very forgiving – just add more icing sugar or milk if needed.